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Grindr’s Guide to the Best Gay TV Shows Available on Streaming

The best gay TV shows give us relatable characters and compelling storylines. Here’s a look at 21 streaming LGBTQ series you won’t be able to stop watching.
Grindr
&
Editorial team
September 8, 2023
June 15, 2024
8
min. read
Table of Contents

LGBTQ shows are some of the best things to watch right now. Why? Because it's our duty as queer people to uphold the media's gay agenda! Kidding (kinda), but in this day and age we're graced with an abundance of LGBTQ television to gleefully consume.

We’ve rounded up 21 of the most binge-worthy LGBTQ shows on Netflix, Hulu, and other favorite streaming sites.

21 bingeable gay TV shows

1. Heartstopper

Based on Alice Oseman’s bestselling graphic novel series of the same name, this coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama (also written by Oseman) is a sweet gay show that follows Charlie Spring, a queer teenager at a British all-boys school. When Charlie meets rugby player Nick, the resulting relationship turns Nick’s straight identity on its head.

Stream the full series on Netflix.

2. Orange Is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black (aka OITNB) is an American comedy-drama based on Piper Kerman's 2010 memoir about her year at FCI Danbury, a minimum security women’s prison. Not surprisingly, locking a bunch of women up together results in plenty of gay sex. But instead of fetishizing lesbian relationships, the show treats its characters as real, complex people, offering a portrayal of the love and lust that happens between queer women much as it would in the real world.  

Stream the full series on Netflix.

3. RuPaul’s Drag Race

The now-massive, multinational franchise began in 2009 with the release of RuPaul's Drag Race, an American reality competition series that’s spanned 15 seasons (so far). On a quest to find America's next drag superstar, Mama Ru acts as the show’s host and a mentor to contestants, who complete new challenges each week.

The show has inspired a number of spinoffs, like RuPaul’s Drag U and RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race. But we recommend starting with the OG series (as if you haven't), which you can stream on Hulu or Apple TV.

4. Feel Good

The hilarious Mae Martin stars as a fictionalized version of themselves in this semi-autobiographical romantic comedy. The series follows Mae, a nonbinary Canadian comedian, and George, a British woman whose reluctance to come out to her family and friends causes no shortage of tension between the two. Feel Good deals with heavy topics like drug addiction and sexual repression, but it still manages to be both funny and relatable.

Stream the full series on Netflix.

5. Sex Education

British comedy-drama Sex Education follows Otis, the son of a sex therapist played by the incomparable Gillian Anderson. Sexual experimentation at Otis’ school crosses every gender and sexuality line, but the real queer star of the show is Eric Effiong, Otis’ fabulously gay best friend who’s given a storyline often reserved for straight people—a love triangle.

Stream the full series on Netflix.

6. Glee

The musical world would be nothing without the queer community, and Glee is no exception. This American musical comedy-drama follows the glee club at a fictional high school, exploring serious issues like sexuality and race along the way. Let's be real, you've seen this one (and you might even be a gleek).

Stream the full series on Hulu or Disney+.

7. Tales of the City

Based on Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City novels, this American drama miniseries tells the story of a group of people living at a San Francisco boarding house owned by a trans woman, Mrs. Madrigal, Olympia Dukakis’ last role before her death in 2021. Other queer stars you’ll recognize are Academy Award nominee Elliot Page and Murray Bartlett, who played the memorable hotel manager in season one of The White Lotus and Frank in the third (and gloriously gay) episode of The Last of Us. Tales of the City’s run was short-lived, but it took home the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Limited Series, an honor we wholeheartedly agree with.

Stream the full series on Netflix.

8. Love, Victor

If you enjoyed Love, Simon, one of our favorite gay movies (based on an equally delightful romance novel), give Love, Victor a shot. The American teen comedy-drama follows a new student at Creekwood High School, Victor, as he grapples with his sexual orientation. When high school seems too hard to navigate, Victor reaches out to Simon for solidarity. Nick Robinson, who starred as Simon in the film, narrates this endearing gay TV series.

Stream the full series on Hulu or Disney+.

9. Schitt’s Creek

This Canadian sitcom follows the fall from grace of the wealthy Rose family, who get busted for embezzlement and relocate to the quirky town of Schitt’s Creek, which they’d purchased as a joke years before. “Ew, David” may be the most quotable line from the show, but we think David is actually pretty yummy—and so is Dan Levy, the actor who plays him. Fun fact: Levy also co-created the show.

Stream the full series on Hulu or Amazon.

10. Queer Eye

Queer Eye follows the Fab Five, a team of gay experts who bring their queer eyes to a new "hero" each week. Originally launched as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy in 2003, the show’s name was shortened beginning in season three. The cast may have changed over the years (we love you, Jonathan Van Ness), but you can count on every episode being deliciously, wholesomely gay.

Stream the full series on Netflix.

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11. Pose

Before turning on Pose, do yourself a favor and watch Paris Is Burning, the phenomenal documentary that inspired the series. Both the documentary and the TV musical drama explore the queer and trans dancers and models involved with New York City's underground ball culture in the ’80s and ’90s.

Stream the full series on Hulu, Amazon, or Apple TV.

12. Special

Special is a semi-autobiographical series starring Ryan O'Connell, who wrote the memoir the show is based on. The story follows Ryan, a gay man with mild cerebral palsy, as he pursues new friendships, relationships, and independence while living in Los Angeles. While the show deals with two topics that could make for heavy material—life as a gay man with a disability—it’s the perfect feel-good LGBTQ sitcom to uplift and inspire you when you need a pick-me-up.

Stream the full series on Netflix.

13. Sense8

If you’ve burned through every episode of Star Trek: Discovery and need something to fill the queer science fiction void, this one’s for you. Sense8 follows eight strangers from different parts of the world who become linked when a woman gives birth to their collective consciousness. They discover that they’re "sensates," people who can sense and communicate with each other, sharing their knowledge, language, and skills psychically. The show’s central theme is embracing empathy across differences, and it’s been praised for its representation of LGBTQ characters, even winning the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series.

Stream the full series on Netflix.

14. We Are Who We Are

Luca Guadagnino, the creative force behind Call Me By Your Name, offers up another Americans-in-Italy coming-of-age masterpiece, this time on the small screen. We Are Who We Are follows two teenage American neighbors living on a U.S. military base in Chioggia, Italy. The miniseries doesn’t bother labeling its characters as gay, straight, trans, or bi. But Fraser, the sexually fluid protagonist, has two mothers, and his friend Caitlin spends much of the series pushing the boundaries of gender norms.

Stream the full series on Max.

15. 13 Reasons Why

Before dying by suicide, high school student Hannah Baker records a series of cassette tapes offering clues to her death, each dedicated to someone who played a part in her story, for better or worse. 13 Reasons Why comes with a CVS receipt’s worth of trigger warnings, but homophobia is among the many heavy topics it deals with, and several key characters are bi or gay.

Stream the full series on Netflix.

16. Riverdale

The storylines of a number of LGBTQ characters are woven seamlessly into the narrative of Riverdale, the American supernatural horror crime drama based on Archie Comics. The story follows a group of teenagers, including Archie Comics’ first openly gay character, as they investigate the evils plaguing their town in the wake of another teen’s murder. Critics and fans alike have applauded the show for its inclusivity and positive representation of queer people.

Stream the full series on Netflix.

17. Shadowhunters

Just can’t get enough supernatural teen drama? Shadowhunters, a TV series based on Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments, follows 18-year-old Clary Fray, who discovers that she comes from a long line of human-angel demon hunters. The series features gay, bi, and asexual characters and won the award for Best Bisexual Representation, as well as GLAAD’S Outstanding Drama Series Award.

Stream the full series on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.  

18. Degrassi

Degrassi’s premise is simple: The show follows a group of children and teens living on Toronto’s Degrassi Street. But its gentle approach to tough topics and realistic portrayal of regular kids (played by real kids, not the usual 20-somethings) turned a run-of-the-mill idea into a wildly successful franchise. And since no show could be called realistic without LGBTQ representation, queer people get their fair share of screen time, particularly in Degrassi: The Next Generation, which GLAAD recognized as the first series to include a recurring transgender character.

Stream Degrassi: The Next Generation on Max.

19. American Horror Story

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer—for more than a decade, American Horror Story has delivered it all. Each season of the anthology series offers a new self-contained story with its own characters, plotlines, and settings, from haunted houses to asylums to colonial settlements. Some of the series’ actors are one and done, like our beloved Lady Gaga, who won the Golden Globe for her performance in American Horror Story: Hotel. Others, like gay icon Sarah Paulson, bring the LGBTQ star power back season after season.

Stream the full series on Hulu.

20. Euphoria

Hunter Schafer, the trans bombshell who plays Jules in Euphoria, worked with the show’s creator to ensure she presented a realistic portrayal of a teen struggling with sexuality and gender identity. Some of Euphoria’s queer characters, including Zendaya’s Rue, own who they are without remorse. For others, LGBTQ repression is a tragic reality with dangerous consequences.

Stream the full series on Max.

21. Skins

Before Euphoria was even a gleam in Sam Levinson’s eye, there was Skins, a groundbreaking dramedy about a group of teenagers living in Bristol, England. The show’s controversial storylines explore hard topics like dysfunctional families, mental illness, eating disorders, substance abuse, and (of course) gender and sexuality, with LGBTQ representation from multiple queer and gay characters.

Stream the full series on Netflix or Hulu.

Find your binge-watch buddy

Before you queue up your must-watch gay shows on Netflix, find someone to watch with on Grindr. Download the Grindr app now!

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